My 9/11 tribute to my friend Graham

Graham BerkeleyIts unbelievable to me that 10 years ago yesterday (September 9, 2001) I said good night to my friend Graham (pictured above). He was leaving for L.A. in two days, and we were to connect the following weekend so he could tell me about the trip which was a mixture of business and pleasure.

September 11th remains etched in my memory. I was unemployed at the time and at home so I actually saw the smoke from the first plane that had flown into the WTC, but my mind couldn’t really process what I saw on the news. While showing live footage of the initial crash I watched the second plane (UA FLT 175 – the plane as it turns out Graham was on) fly into the WTC.

That morning was filled with calls from friends trying to remain calm but their voices betraying their panic urgently inquiring if I knew what United flight Graham was on and asking if my partner (a flight attendant for United Airlines at the time) was on the flight. My partner had been working that morning flight all month but was thankfully visiting family in Brazil.
Taken too soon and still missed today, Americans will mourn an attack on the nation that is for most fodder for political debate and indignation. For me the 11th of September is always about giving thanks that my partner was not working that flight and about the days that followed which included the unfortunate task of packing all of my friend Graham’s belongings and shipping them to his parents in the U.K. who were too old to travel and too distraught to do anything – still reeling from the news that there son had died in such an unimaginable manner.
I won’t be posting anything on September 11th. Its a day I chose to spend face-to-face with friends to remember how much I love and care for them. If you were impacted by the day or lost someone – you have my deepest sympathies.

9 responses to “My 9/11 tribute to my friend Graham

  1. Graham was from my home town SHrewsbury in the UK. I always sit and think of him and his family on this day along with all the others who sadly lost their lives that day and in subsequent years to follow from illness and injuries or broken hearts. Thank you for sharing. x

  2. There’s a guy on Twitter by the name of Thom (twitter id @loudmouthdad) saying he was Graham’s lover & partner. He’s also telling everyone that Graham was a raging Atheist & that because Graham was killed on 9/11 that it made him become an atheist also. I’ve searched all over the web for any mention of Graham’s lover named Thom & can find nothing mentioned. Most websites seem to say he was single. You may want to look in to this as I think he’s using your friend to gather some kind of sympathy on twitter, but I’m sure he’s lying & using your friend’s good name to do so.

    • Thanks I just reached out to him. It doesn’t have his name or pic so I don’t know the handle, but Graham had a lot of boyfriends while living in the US. I may or may not have known him depending on if he dated him when he lived in Boston.

  3. so very sorry for your loss!

  4. Great post, thanks for sharing. I am truly sorry for your loss.David

  5. Thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life with us. I know what it's like to lose someone you dearly love. Trust me I know the feeling.However, I think you have a great outlook on life. You have not let it consume you into misery, but have embraced sharing the HERE and NOW with your friends and family near. That's what life is really about.Life is not about the past, nor the future. What is happening at THIS moment is what really matters. Without that, what really is there?

  6. Thank you, my friend, for sharing that. What a lovely tribute to your friend. I, too, knew people who died that day. It's been a weekend of tears shed over their loss, but you truly have found a way to honor their memories!

  7. Rob, thanks for sharing.

  8. I'm sorry to hear about your loss on 9/11. I hope everything is fine when you're with your friends tomorrow.

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